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Smart Centres Index

Smart Centres Index

The Smart Centres Index (SCI) was developed as part of our Distributed Futures programme and is an initiative to track the development of technology and financial centres across the world in their support for and readiness for new technology applications. It aims to help investors, governments, and regulators track the attractiveness of technology centres for new technologies and products by measuring how attuned centres and their regulatory systems are to attracting innovation and growth in Science, Technology, Energy Systems, Machine Learning, Distributed Ledgers, and Fintech.

SCI 8 Cover Image

The eighth edition of the Smart Centres Index was published on 23 November 2023. SCI 8 rates the innovation and technology offerings of leading commercial centres, tracking their ability to create, develop, and deploy technology.

The SCI is a factor assessment index, combining a number of instrumental factors - data measures drawn from a range of data providers across the world - and assessments given by business and finance professionals of three dimensions related to innovation and technology in major commercial and financial centres:

  • Innovation Support - the support provided by regulatory and other systems to innovation and technology in a centre.
  • Creative Intensity - the intensity of technology and innovation services and opportunities in a centre.
  • Delivery Capability - the quality of the technology and innovation work that is taking place in a centre.

131 commercial and financial centres were researched for SCI 8 of which 77 are included in the index. SCI 8 was compiled using 135 instrumental factors. These quantitative measures are provided by third parties including the World Bank, The Economist Intelligence Unit, the OECD, and the United Nations.

The instrumental factors are combined with financial centre assessments provided by respondents to the SCI online questionnaire. SCI 7 uses 1,705 assessments provided by 232 respondents.

SCI 8 Results

  • Most centres in the top half of the table fell in the ratings, while the reverse is true for centres in the lower half of the index.
  • Regional performance followed this trend, with Western European and North American centres’ average rating falling reflecting the higher number of centres in these regions in the top half of the ranking.
  • London retained first place in the index, with New York and Singapore in second and third positions.
  • Four Western European centres feature in the top 10, and three from the US.
  • Singapore and Hong Kong feature in the top 10 among Asia/Pacific centres and Tel Aviv continues to feature in the top 10.
  • Four centres rose 10 or more places in the ranking in SCI 8, while five centres fell 10 or more places.
  • Following a rise in the average ratings in SCI 7, the average rating in SCI 8 rose by just 0.47%. Against a background of geopolitical threats, this may reflect uncertainty over the perceived risks and uncertain types of benefits arising from technologies such as generative AI.

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